Golfers Begin Their Journey to Become Fitter, Stronger, Faster
Golfers are united in their pursuit of game improvement, whether it be through custom fitted equipment, golf lessons, or time spent on the range, but many neglect the fitness side and getting their bodies working in motion through the swing. You only have to look at the professional tours to witness the majority of players who have adopted physical regimes that will help them to become fitter, stronger, faster.
But it's not just the world's best who need to enhance their fitness and claim the benefits. Jon Ship, of JS Golf Fit, is determined to help everyday players successfully exercise for golf, carefully developing a programme that could make a significant difference to your game.
Experienced in the fitness industry, Jon explains where the origins of Golf Fit came from: "Where I feel most passionate and best placed to help golfers the most is through developing skill of movement, assisting them to enhance how they move and trust their body to perform.
"This came by taking lessons from faster health and fitness, which has really progressed my understanding of how to help people. I took a strong interest in working with golfers several years ago, but spent time developing the programme until I knew if someone followed it they would see an improvement. Throughout, I have helped regular golfers who have been unable to play due to pain, the golfer who struggles with flexibility who wants to hit it further and straighter, all the way up to to EuroPro, Ladies European Tour and Long Drive level."
But what is the Golf Fit Programme?
"The main aim of the programme is to get golfers enjoying the game more! Walking off feeling like they have the energy and enthusiasm and enjoyment to play again. To actually start striking the golf ball and see themselves get better, improving distance and accuracy. The programme is designed to improve the efficiency of how the golfer moves in their swing, enabling better sequencing through enhancing flexibility, stability, speed and strength. The programme can be done at home or in the gym, either works really well. The programmes that get the best results are the ones that are followed consistently."
Beginning their journey, four Golfshake Ambassadors have started their programme with Jon, initially attending a fitness review at The Belfry, where they learned about their limitations, what they have to improve upon, and what following the steps outlined by Golf Fit can accomplish for them.
We asked the guys for their early feedback, laying the foundations of their path.
How Fit Were You Before Attending the Fitness Review With Jon?
Kevin - "A very average 5. Golf has been my main form of exercise for the past five years, and whilst it's great in terms of general wellbeing, it wasn't doing too much from a fitness and strength perspective."
Richard - "Not very fit, I have a gym membership which I hardly use, I stopped playing football due to injuries, so golf is my only regular exercise."
Rob - "Honestly, I would say poor. Apart from golf and the odd Monday night five v five football, my fitness levels have dropped over years."
Mel - "Not very. My Upper body especially was very stiff at times. I was recently diagnosed with arthritis in my right knee and lower back, so things there can get tight and sore."
Do You Exercise Regularly?
Kevin - "I used to be a regular gym goer, and then life (and small children) got in the way! However, at the start of 2020, I've rejoined a gym, and am now swimming three times a week in an attempt to combat middle aged spread."
Richard - "Only golf twice a week on average."
Rob - "I tend to go through stages, where I will exercise two or three times a week for a month or so, and then stop, then start again. It's never been consistent. Time constraints and physical issues seem to hinder me!"
Mel - "Apart from playing golf and walking the dog, nothing else. I do get plenty of steps in most days doing my job which is good."
Have You Done Any Specific Golf Exercises Before?
Kevin - "Not really, I've never really seen a comprehensive programme which I could relate to golf, but have used kettlebells, cable machines etc whilst mimicking elements of the golf swing."
Richard - "Never, other than few swishes on the first tee."
Rob - "No. I use a cross trainer so that works arms and shoulders, but nothing specific for golf."
Mel - "No, I’ve been a member of gyms and done exercises at home but nothing golf related before."
Do You have Any Golf Fitness Specific 2020 Goals?
Kevin - "Primarily, I want and need to be able to increase my swing speed and get the ball out there farther - every strokes gained study I've seen says the further you hit it, the quicker your scores will drop. Over the past few years I've noticed a drop in swing speed and this definitely needs reversing. Additionally, if through exercises I can also improve my swing technique that would be an added bonus."
Richard - "To get stronger to add 20 yards carry on my drives (to reach 220 carry). I have never been a long hitter – more a cautious keep it in play driver of the ball."
Rob - "When I spoke to Jon, I was specific that I didn't want to run marathons, but simply be fit enough to do 5km a few times a week. I truly believe that being physically fit helps golf fitness, with my lowest handicap being when I was at my fittest."
Mel - "To lose weight and improve flexibility. By doing this I also feel I would be able to play more golf as at present I struggle to play consecutive days."
Sum Up How You Found the Fitness Review With Jon?
Kevin - "Informative, but hard work! Even though it was 20 minutes, I found the experience really positive in terms how using the shaker and resistance bands could start to change my mechanics and increase the speed of my swing, and I awakened muscles which have been dormant for too long!"
Richard - "It was tough. At The Belfry we did a few exercises with the shaker. I struggled to swish it appropriately and soon became so fatigued that we did not use the bands as other of the team did. I think Jon realised early on he has his work cut out with me!"
Rob - "The whole experience has so far been great, personally my fitness workouts have been different to the others due to physical restrictions, but Jon has worked around this and been really flexible."
Mel - "Very good and enlightening. Jon is a very positive fit and that then made me feel positive going forward."
What Do You Hope to Achieve by the End of the Programme?
Kevin - Speed, speed, and more speed. If I can get my driver club head speed up to 95 mph I'll be really happy, and then kick on to 100 (why not!). Additionally, I was also keen to introduce some form of stretching into my pre-round warm up, as I had hoped even a couple of minutes with the resistance bands could hopefully reduce the number of slow starts on a course I often experience."
Richard - "Extra length on my drives - want to get closer to 95-100 mph swing speed and carry 220 yards."
Rob - "More speed! I swing at 100mph so it would be great to achieve this speed consistently, I also want to increase my flexibility, allowing a pretty violent transition to be smoother."
Mel - "More flexibility and increased distances, especially off the tee. To be able to play more golf and also to be able to just do regular day to day things with more ease and hopefully less pain."
The Golfshake Ambassador have now begun their eight-week programme with Jon, and we'll keep track of their progress!
Additionally, if you are feeling inspired to work on your golf fitness, then just like magic, you can sign up today to receive a series of exercises directly from Jon that'll help you to become #FitterStrongerFaster.
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